Please welcome Sherri Moore to my blog as she discusses how color influences our lives; from eating to shopping and other aspects of our daily routine. Sherri also delves into the correlation between our favorite color(s) and our personality.
Selena: Sherri, welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. What got you interested in the psychology of color?
Sherri: I have always been mesmerized by color and why people love one color and hate another. As a redhead, I have always been aware that some colors are a very bad idea for me to wear. I learned to embrace the colors that look best on me. I even wore orange to my junior prom and lime green to my senior prom :).
When we moved to Missouri, I met a dear friend who had been studying color for years. I asked her to teach me about the psychology of color and which colors look best on different people. She took me under her knowledgeable wing. She had her own business and did some color consulting for small businesses in the area. We teamed up and began to grow the business to include larger businesses and individual consultations.
Selena: As a writer, I’m interested in how color can either stimulate or hinder one’s creativity. Which colors do both?
Sherri: Most experts won’t saddle any particular color with hindering one’s creativity, but there is significant research to support the fact some colors definitely enhance creativity. People surrounded by yellow tend to feel optimistic because the brain actually releases more serotonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. Yellow also increases creative thoughts. However, I would recommend one is careful with yellow, because intense yellow can create feelings of frustration and anger.
Being surrounded by blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming, however, too much blue can feel cold. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. If I were designing an author’s work space or home office, I would use a soft yellow for the walls with strong blue and light blue accents (pillows, wall art).
Selena: What about food? Are there any colors of food which will either increase or decrease someone’s appetite?
Sherri: More than just the color of the food itself, the color of your surroundings can have a significant impact on your appetite. Blue tends to be the most unappetizing color in foods. Studies show that people will dislike a color or drink simply colored with blue food coloring even when there is no taste difference.
Some weight loss plans suggest eating food off a blue plate to diminish appetite. Yellow, on the other hand, increases appetite. Many restaurants and grocery stores utilize yellow in decorating to influence customers to eat/buy more. The upside to yellow is that it has been shown to increase metabolism.
Selena: Have you ever been in a restaurant or store and saw an advertisement and thought, “What a wrong use of color?” What was it and why?
Sherri: Most major stores and restaurants have the use of color and lighting down pat to influence people to purchase while still being pleasing. I have occasionally gone into a local restaurant and thought, “Would someone please kill the floral wallpaper?” I have much stronger reactions to the colors people wear than to most stores’ and restaurants’ decor.
The simple fact is not everyone looks good in yellow (or orange or purple or red). People have either warm or cool undertones to their skin. This undertone along with hair color and eye color dictate what colors will look best on a person. If someone with a cool undertone wears a yellow-based color, he or she will look sallow, jaundice, and just sickly overall. If this same person was to wear a blue-based color, the change would be dramatic and immediate. He or she would appear younger, healthier, more vibrant, and often thinner. I have warm undertones and shouldn’t wear pink, purple, true red, blue, etc. These colors wash me out and make me look horrible. I stick with warm colors: orange, green, brown, yellow.
I loved Ann Curry on the Today Show, but seeing her wear so much yellow and orange was enough to make me want to self-medicate. That being said, I love purple but have no business wearing it anywhere near my face. I have a purple cell phone, purse, wallet, and shoes. I get my purple fix without having to suffer the consequences. If you love a color that isn’t best for you, just don’t wear it nearest your face. If you want to wear red but it isn’t a great color for you, break it up with a scarf or piece of jewelry.
Selena: As you’ll see further down, my favorite color is purple as well.
Is it true the majority of people who are color blind are men? Do you think they have a difficult time with differentiating between silver, baby blue or gray?
Sherri: It is true that the majority of color blind people are male. Most color blindness is a sex-linked condition. The genes that produce photo-pigments are carried on the X chromosome; if some of these genes are missing or damaged, color blindness will be expressed in males with a higher probability than in females because males only have one X chromosome.
There are two major types of color blindness: red-green and blue-yellow. Men with delusions of grandeur and superhero status who also happen to love reading romance books tend to suffer the worst form color blindness .
Selena: LOL! I love lavender, orange and yellow. What does this say about me?
Sherri: I think that your favorite colors can say a lot about you, but like everything else– take it with a grain of salt. While you may not exhibit all the character traits of your personality color, you will find yourself somewhere in the description. You may also find that you exhibit some of the negative traits, particularly when stressed.
Purple: You have a deep need for emotional security and to create order and perfection in all areas of your life, including your spiritual life. You also have a deep need to initiate and participate in humanitarian projects, helping others in need.
Orange: You have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and to be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.
Yellow: You have a deep need for logical order in your everyday life and to be able to express your individuality by using your logical and to inspire and create new ideas.
Selena: Thanks again, Sherri. This has been both fun and informative.
About Sherri Moore:
Sherri works with businesses and individuals helping them understand the psychology and power of color. Answering questions such as; how will the colors someone chooses to wear in certain situations have an unconscious effect on those around them? Which colors present the tone and environment they are striving to create? In businesses where client, vendor, coworker interactions are critical, it is an incredibly valuable asset to be able to create the environment you want.
Sherri also assists individuals understand which colors and shades are most complimentary for their skin tone, eye color and hair color. Sherri believes that when a person has confidence in what they are wearing and how they look, they will then project that to others. They respond to that confidence and your interactions reflect that.
Sherri and her business partner are in the process of re-designing their website. Once this project is completed, I will post a link to their blog so you can check out their services and information on coloring your world.
Please feel free to ask Sherri any questions you have about color or what your favorite color says about you.